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post #1 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Measuring for hydro steer

I've been in touch with howe and am finally ready to get hydro steer on the road. He had asked me to send some specific measurements about my steering setup and one of them is total travel. I clamped a square on my axle tube and then pushed the steering all the way to one side. I then made a mark on the tie rod where the square touched it and then pushed the steering all the way in the other direction and measured the difference. I feel like the measurement is really low at 5.625" I have reid knuckles installed and the stops have not been ground at all. I do not want to grind them either as when I test fitted a 40" tire I had no rubbing at full lock but not by much.

I don't really feel like limiting the steering on a 2dr is that big of a deal with the short wheelbase but that # seems really low.

What is a standard measurement or any other reference measurements?
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post #2 of 33 Old 03-21-2017, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Dkjeep View Post
I've been in touch with howe and am finally ready to get hydro steer on the road. He had asked me to send some specific measurements about my steering setup and one of them is total travel. I clamped a square on my axle tube and then pushed the steering all the way to one side. I then made a mark on the tie rod where the square touched it and then pushed the steering all the way in the other direction and measured the difference. I feel like the measurement is really low at 5.625" I have reid knuckles installed and the stops have not been ground at all. I do not want to grind them either as when I test fitted a 40" tire I had no rubbing at full lock but not by much.

I don't really feel like limiting the steering on a 2dr is that big of a deal with the short wheelbase but that # seems really low.

What is a standard measurement or any other reference measurements?
A 6.75" stroke ram is the correct size for a JK. I got a 7" ram and had to add about a quarter inch of additional stop.

Did you do this on jack stands with the engine off? If it's on the ground when you go to one side and let go of the steering wheel the steering swings back centered a bit. Sometimes you can also push the wheels a little past where the steering wheel wouldn't go any further.
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post #3 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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A 6.75" stroke ram is the correct size for a JK. I got a 7" ram and had to add about a quarter inch of additional stop.

Did you do this on jack stands with the engine off? If it's on the ground when you go to one side and let go of the steering wheel the steering swings back centered a bit. Sometimes you can also push the wheels a little past where the steering wheel wouldn't go any further.
This was done with the drag link disconnected, the axle on stands, no tires mounted, and me physically pushing the steering from stop to stop.
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post #4 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 07:46 AM
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It is a little low. Mine came out to 6.25" when I did the same thing in preparation for Howe but I had a stock 44 at the time so maybe the knuckles are having an effect.

At the end of the day, if that is all the travel you are getting to clear 40s, then that is what it is. This is the reason Howe asks for a measurement instead of shipping out a 6.75" ram...


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post #5 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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It is a little low. Mine came out to 6.25" when I did the same thing in preparation for Howe but I had a stock 44 at the time so maybe the knuckles are having an effect.

At the end of the day, if that is all the travel you are getting to clear 40s, then that is what it is. This is the reason Howe asks for a measurement instead of shipping out a 6.75" ram...
The steering stops on the reid knuckles look like fingers they are so long.
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post #6 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 08:23 AM
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I'd probably just go with getting a longer one, 6.75-7" and fine tune it for what you need. Here's a picture of what I did for adjustable stroke. Just weld a bigger washer, piece of tube, etc. to the jam nut and then assuming you have an adjustable tie rod clamp, the ram's stroke becomes fully adjustable by placement of the jam nut/rod end. Just need to get it approximately right with the size of whatever you weld onto the nut.

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post #7 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 09:19 AM
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Measuring for hydro steer

I have a 7" stroke ram on mine. I made a 1/2 spacer out of tube and put it on the shaft.


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post #8 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by christensent View Post
I'd probably just go with getting a longer one, 6.75-7" and fine tune it for what you need. Here's a picture of what I did for adjustable stroke. Just weld a bigger washer, piece of tube, etc. to the jam nut and then assuming you have an adjustable tie rod clamp, the ram's stroke becomes fully adjustable by placement of the jam nut/rod end. Just need to get it approximately right with the size of whatever you weld onto the nut.

I think that is a bad idea if you are going the Howe route. They internally stop the box for the same amount of travel that you measure for them on the ram. Doing this would allow the box to try to push the ram further than it can adding unneeded stress on the system.


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post #9 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 10:37 AM
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You measured exactly how Howe wants you to. If you think you can get away with more steering without the tires rubbing, then grind a bit off the stops and remeasure. If you're happy where it is now, give Howe that number. Howe builds a complete system, so what ever you do don't fudge the numbers. They'll make it so the stops, ram and box all stop at the same time.
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post #10 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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You measured exactly how Howe wants you to. If you think you can get away with more steering without the tires rubbing, then grind a bit off the stops and remeasure. If you're happy where it is now, give Howe that number. Howe builds a complete system, so what ever you do don't fudge the numbers. They'll make it so the stops, ram and box all stop at the same time.
Exactly, I am wondering how close they need to be. I'm trying to measure and mark as accurately as possible but say I'm off 1/16 on one or the other what happens
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post #11 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 11:18 AM
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1/16" is just fine. even 1/4 can be easily adjusted with the heims. Surprisingly easy to install, set up, and adjust.


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post #12 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 11:53 AM
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Do not get a longer ram than needed. Unless you enjoy replacing ball joints or damaging your steering box. If the ram is too long, when you are at full lock, it is going to put the full force into the steering regardless. That means all that force is transferring into the ball joints (if steering stops hit first) or the steering box if that is your limiting factor, which is common on a 2 door. Also transferring into the tie rod. your steering will think it is pushing around massive boulders just making a full lock turn at the grocery store.

The Reid knuckles were intentionally made with longer stops to allow the customer to dial them in. That said, your ram should be the limiting factor. I like to go slightly less than the throw of the steering to avoid any over-stroke.
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post #13 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 12:47 PM
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You want the measurement of YOUR internal JK steering box stops.
They can all be a little bit different, so get that measurement as your starting point
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post #14 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Fusion 4x4 View Post
Do not get a longer ram than needed. Unless you enjoy replacing ball joints or damaging your steering box. If the ram is too long, when you are at full lock, it is going to put the full force into the steering regardless. That means all that force is transferring into the ball joints (if steering stops hit first) or the steering box if that is your limiting factor, which is common on a 2 door. Also transferring into the tie rod. your steering will think it is pushing around massive boulders just making a full lock turn at the grocery store.



The Reid knuckles were intentionally made with longer stops to allow the customer to dial them in. That said, your ram should be the limiting factor. I like to go slightly less than the throw of the steering to avoid any over-stroke.


Or you could turn all the way passenger, collapse the ram completely, attach it to the tie rod, turn all the way driver, measure the difference between your ram ending there and your rams full stroke and add a spacer of that measurement onto the shaft.


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post #15 of 33 Old 03-22-2017, 01:59 PM
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Exactly, I am wondering how close they need to be. I'm trying to measure and mark as accurately as possible but say I'm off 1/16 on one or the other what happens
You should be fine if you're within a 1/16th or so. If Howe wanted more accuracy than that, I'm sure they would recommend using some elaborate method to get a "dead balls on" number. Have to remember too, even if you did get a "dead balls on" number, you'll have tolerance stacking from all the parts in the system, so a perfect number is kind of moot.

Anytime I have to measure for an important number, I always take the measurement 3 times start to finish.

If in doubt, call Howe.

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post #16 of 33 Old 03-23-2017, 03:26 AM
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Measuring fo hydro steer

I have a 2015 2 door. Stock knuckles. My lock to lock measurement was the same as the OP. I installed the PSC kit which comes with a 6.75" stroke ram. Followed instructions for ram install. The completed system appears to work fine and doesn't appear to be trying to "push" past the stops. It didn't make that sense that the ram stroke would be over an inch longer than stock lock to lock measurement. I assume that PSC knows what they are doing. I think I will give their tech folks a call and discuss see what they say.
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post #17 of 33 Old 03-23-2017, 04:56 AM
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It's the correct number because you have to remember the measurement you got from your stroke was a straight line. The ram stoke needs to be longer to take into account the arc at which it travels. It's not a straight line. I measured 5.75" on my stroke yet I run a 7" ram and I have only a 1/2" more travel on the ram (6.5" travel)

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I have a 2015 2 door. Stock knuckles. My lock to lock measurement was the same as the OP. I installed the PSC kit which comes with a 6.75" stroke ram. Followed instructions for ram install. The completed system appears to work fine and doesn't appear to be trying to "push" past the stops. It didn't make that sense that the ram stroke would be over an inch longer than stock lock to lock measurement. I assume that PSC knows what they are doing. I think I will give their tech folks a call and discuss see what they say.
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post #18 of 33 Old 03-23-2017, 07:08 AM
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It's the correct number because you have to remember the measurement you got from your stroke was a straight line. The ram stoke needs to be longer to take into account the arc at which it travels. It's not a straight line. I measured 5.75" on my stroke yet I run a 7" ram and I have only a 1/2" more travel on the ram (6.5" travel)
What? Regardless of the arc the ram will travel (which should be minimal if mounted correctly) the furthest distance is when the ram is full extended and the shortest distance is when it is full collapsed which is measured as per how the OP and how Howe tells you to do it. At no time during the full stroke of the ram, can the ram be extended more or less than those two points.


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post #19 of 33 Old 03-23-2017, 07:24 AM
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The tie rod travels in an arc not a straight line. I have run both a 6" and 7" ram and all I know is the 6" limited my turning radius and the 7" gives me 1/2" of additional travel. I measured my tie rod travel at 5.75" roughly so figure that one out. The only explanation is like a said the tie traveling in an arc when turning as in moves towards the axle and away from the axle which is why the extra stroke is needed on the ram

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It's the correct number because you have to remember the measurement you got from your stroke was a straight line. The ram stoke needs to be longer to take into account the arc at which it travels. It's not a straight line. I measured 5.75" on my stroke yet I run a 7" ram and I have only a 1/2" more travel on the ram (6.5" travel)
What? Regardless of the arc the ram will travel (which should be minimal if mounted correctly) the furthest distance is when the ram is full extended and the shortest distance is when it is full collapsed which is measured as per how the OP and how Howe tells you to do it. At no time during the full stroke of the ram, can the ram be extended more or less than those two points.
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post #20 of 33 Old 03-23-2017, 07:31 AM
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The tie rod travels in an arc not a straight line. I have run both a 6" and 7" ram and all I know is the 6" limited my turning radius and the 7" gives me 1/2" of additional travel. I measured my tie rod travel at 5.75" roughly so figure that one out. The only explanation is like a said the tie traveling in an arc when turning as in moves towards the axle and away from the axle which is why the extra stroke is needed on the ram
I dont mean to be rude but that is not the correct explanation. You are correct in that the tie rod travels in an arc but at no point can the distance be more or less than at the end points. Grab a piece of string and tape it an arbitrary point on the axle. Turn the wheel to lock in one direction and tape the other end of the string to an arbitrary point on the tie rod which will make the string taught. Then have someone turn the wheel in the other direction while you observe the string. You will observe your arc but the string will never become tighter than it was in the full locked position.

That originally taught distance is essentially what Howe is getting you to measure and that is the full stroke that your ram can travel.


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post #21 of 33 Old 03-23-2017, 08:08 AM
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All good man just trying to think of a reason why tie rod travel is not the same as ram travel so just spit balling here. I know the correct wat to measure travel as you mentioned above btw. Again give me a reason why a 6" ram is too short for a 5.75" stroke and a 7" ram in a 1/2" less and I will listen. Not trying to be a dick either but numbers don't lie. The "arc" thing is just something I felt "might" be the cause

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The tie rod travels in an arc not a straight line. I have run both a 6" and 7" ram and all I know is the 6" limited my turning radius and the 7" gives me 1/2" of additional travel. I measured my tie rod travel at 5.75" roughly so figure that one out. The only explanation is like a said the tie traveling in an arc when turning as in moves towards the axle and away from the axle which is why the extra stroke is needed on the ram
I dont mean to be rude but that is not the correct explanation. You are correct in that the tie rod travels in an arc but at no point can the distance be more or less than at the end points. Grab a piece of string and tape it an arbitrary point on the axle. Turn the wheel to lock in one direction and tape the other end of the string to an arbitrary point on the tie rod which will make the string taught. Then have someone turn the wheel in the other direction while you observe the string. You will observe your arc but the string will never become tighter than it was in the full locked position.

That originally taught distance is essentially what Howe is getting you to measure and that is the full stroke that your ram can travel.
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post #22 of 33 Old 03-23-2017, 08:39 AM
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All good man just trying to think of a reason why tie rod travel is not the same as ram travel so just spit balling here. I know the correct wat to measure travel as you mentioned above btw. Again give me a reason why a 6" ram is too short for a 5.75" stroke and a 7" ram in a 1/2" less and I will listen. Not trying to be a dick either but numbers don't lie. The "arc" thing is just something I felt "might" be the cause
Did you use the method that Howe states were you use a straight edge off of the axle and mark 2 points on the tie rod and then measure the distance between them or did you do something similar to the string where you have a fixed point on the axle and a mark on the tie rod and then measure directly between the two points at full lock at each end?

How is you ram mounted?


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post #23 of 33 Old 03-23-2017, 08:47 AM
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I clamped a straightedge on my axle tube. Turned my wheels full driver with wheels slightly off the ground and marked the spot on my tie rod that the straightedge touched. Then turned full passenger and marked where the straightedge touched the tie rod. Measured the distance between the two marks and got 5.75". My ram is mounted to two tabs on my trackbar mount and a clamp on my tie rod

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All good man just trying to think of a reason why tie rod travel is not the same as ram travel so just spit balling here. I know the correct wat to measure travel as you mentioned above btw. Again give me a reason why a 6" ram is too short for a 5.75" stroke and a 7" ram in a 1/2" less and I will listen. Not trying to be a dick either but numbers don't lie. The "arc" thing is just something I felt "might" be the cause
Did you use the method that Howe states were you use a straight edge off of the axle and mark 2 points on the tie rod and then measure the distance between them or did you do something similar to the string where you have a fixed point on the axle and a mark on the tie rod and then measure directly between the two points at full lock at each end?

How is you ram mounted?
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post #24 of 33 Old 03-23-2017, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by CrazyLarry View Post
I clamped a straightedge on my axle tube. Turned my wheels full driver with wheels slightly off the ground and marked the spot on my tie rod that the straightedge touched. Then turned full passenger and marked where the straightedge touched the tie rod. Measured the distance between the two marks and got 5.75". My ram is mounted to two tabs on my trackbar mount and a clamp on my tie rod
Ok so my theory is this:

The way you measured is the way Howe recommends and it is intended for rams that are mounted "near" parallel with the tie rod. By mounting off of the track bar mount, you have essentially created a triangle where the measurement you took is B, the distance between the tie rod and your mount at center wheel is A, and your ram as it sits now becomes the hypotenuse C.

Throw in the Pythagorean theorem and your actual ram length based on your mounting positions should be C squared = A squared + B squared. This is all just rough estimates but it should explain why your measured distance isnt matching up to what length ram you need.

Note: all of the above should be calculated at center wheel so take you measurement and divide it by half plus the length of the ram itself to figure out all the numbers.
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post #25 of 33 Old 03-23-2017, 09:28 AM
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Watching a little too much Big Bang theory are we ? But yeah this is what I was kind of implying with the whole "arc" thing just didn't know how to explain it right......errr ah who the fuck could lol

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I clamped a straightedge on my axle tube. Turned my wheels full driver with wheels slightly off the ground and marked the spot on my tie rod that the straightedge touched. Then turned full passenger and marked where the straightedge touched the tie rod. Measured the distance between the two marks and got 5.75". My ram is mounted to two tabs on my trackbar mount and a clamp on my tie rod
Ok so my theory is this:

The way you measured is the way Howe recommends and it is intended for rams that are mounted "near" parallel with the tie rod. By mounting off of the track bar mount, you have essentially created a triangle where the measurement you took is B, the distance between the tie rod and your mount at center wheel is A, and your ram as it sits now becomes the hypotenuse C.

Throw in the Pythagorean theorem and your actual ram length based on your mounting positions should be C squared = A squared + B squared. This is all just rough estimates but it should explain why your measured distance isnt matching up to what length ram you need.

Note: all of the above should be calculated at center wheel so take you measurement and divide it by half plus the length of the ram itself to figure out all the numbers.
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